Professional Exam FAQs
History and Development of the Professional Examination
The Professional Standards Board (PSB) began administering the Professional Examination on behalf of the Provincial/Territorial Institutes and Associations (PTIA) in 2013. The PSB administered a long-answer format examination twice a year (once in March, once in September). The 2013-2015 sittings took place in Toronto, Ottawa, and using proctors across Canada.
The Professional Education and Examination Committee is pleased to release the new 2023 Professional Examination Study Guide and updated Additional Readings 2023! The new Guide builds upon the 2021 version to help you prepare, based on feedback from Candidates and the virtual Examination format.
Kindly note that the format and content of the Examination has not changed since September 2020; the new content is simply supplementary information on how to approach exam questions in the three sections of the Professional Examination.
Candidate may also complement their preparations using the previously released 2021 Professional Examination Study Guide, Additional Readings and Sample Questions.
- CIP Code of Professional Conduct (pdf)
- Supplementary Material on Public Interest (pdf)
- The Road to your RPP Webinar (February 2022)
Please note that the study materials are not exhaustive in terms of the content on the Professional Examination. To pass the Professional Examination, Candidates must have a thorough understanding of the course materials, but more importantly, they must have significant, diverse experience in responsible planning and the ability to apply their experience as well as their knowledge of the content included in the course materials to a variety of challenging workplace scenarios.
Registration for the Spring Professional Examination will open in July 2023. Registration will close on Friday, September 1, 2023.
- Submitted signed mentorship and sponsorship agreements
- Received official approval from PSB of mentorship logs
- Received official approval from PSB of sponsorship logs
- Passed Ethics & Professionalism Course and Test
Please note these requirements do not apply to OPPI Candidate (Provisional) members (i.e. individuals who applied for candidate membership before 2012). Please contact OPPI for Professional Exam eligibility requirements for Candidate (Provisional) Members and see the candidate process for more information.
All eligibility requirements above must be met by Friday, September 1, 2023.
The deadline to submit your logs for review is Friday, August 11, 2023.
Dates, Times, Locations
Next Sitting: Monday, September 18, 2023. The Professional Examination is taking place at different times, depending on your province. Please see times below (NOTE START TIMES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE):
- British Columbia & Yukon: 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM PT
- Alberta, Northwest Territories & Saskatchewan & Nunavut: 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM MT
- Manitoba: 10:30 AM – 1:30 PM CT
- Ontario: 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM ET
- Nova Scotia, New Brunswick & PEI: 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM AT
- Newfoundland and Labrador: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM ET
Note: The Professional Examination will take place remotely using online proctoring technology. No in-person locations will be hosted and candidates will not be required to find an invigilator. Candidates will sit the Examination in their own home or a location accessible to them using a laptop or computer. More details on the technology requirements will be announced at a later date.
Virtual Examination Format
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about the new Virtual Professional Examination:
What do I need to complete the Professional Examination? You will be required to have access to: A laptop/Computer with a Working Web Camera, a power cord (make sure you have AC power to your machine and DO NOT RUN OFF BATTERY POWER!), reliable internet connection and a valid government issued ID. Photo identification may include any one of the following, as long as it contains a photo and a signature: An up-to-date Passport (any country) OR current Driver’s License (any country) OR current Canadian health card (any province or territory). No other material is permitted at your workstation (including paper documents and cellphones) except water in a clear glass, or medication as required.
Why is the Professional Examination proctored? The PSB Professional Examination will be proctored using the Mettl platform to aid in preventing candidate cheating. The platform monitors and records live Web Camera and computer screen feeds during the Professional Examination. Should you navigate away from the test window, the proctor will be alerted. There will be a chat feature at the bottom of the window where you will be able to interact with the proctor. The proctor will pause your test if they observe any suspicious activity and resume once the situation is resolved. Any rules broken and unresolved will result in a FAILED session. If integrity issued are identified with your Examination, you will receive an email with further instructions. Any candidates who are caught cheating will receive a grade of 0.
Am I able to use pen and paper during the Professional Examination? No pen and paper are allowed during the Professional Examination.
How can I access the CIP Code of Professional Conduct and the Enabling Competencies during the Professional Examination? You are permitted to have an online version of the CIP Code of Professional Conduct and the Enabling Competencies open for your reference during the Professional Examination (links provided via email). Other than the Examination link, this is the only webpage you are permitted to access during the Professional Examination. Please ensure you open the webpage BEFORE commencing the Professional Examination to avoid having to access your emails during the Examination, which will be flagged by the proctors.
Am I allowed to go to the washroom? Yes. Send a message to your proctor using the chat feature at the bottom of the screen if you are going to the washroom. The Professional Examination will not be paused during this time. Bathroom breaks are not permitted during the first or last 30 minutes of the Professional Examination.
Am I allowed to have water or food? Water is allowed in a clear bottle/glass. Food is not allowed unless you have an approved special accommodation. If you need to take medication, it must be at their workstation at the beginning of the Examination and be in view of the camera. The proctor has the right to inspect medication and take a screenshot of the medication if necessary. Special accommodations should be stated when you complete your registration.
Am I allowed to use a second monitor? No, you will not be able to use a second monitor to complete the Professional Examination. Candidates will need to be looking in the direction of the Web Camera so the proctor can monitor them throughout the duration of the Examination. The Professional Examination software is not compatible with external monitors. If you believe your screen is too small to take the Examination comfortably, please arrange for a new laptop to be used in advance of the Professional Examination (and test the system requirements beforehand).
What happens if I am kicked out of the Professional Examination? If you lose internet connection or run out of battery, you will be able to log in again within 15 minutes, using the same link at the beginning of this document. You CANNOT deliberately close the test and resume it from the same point.
What if I have popups on my laptop? Please ensure all pop ups are disabled for the duration of the Professional Examination (ex. Slack, Microsoft Teams, email alerts).
Who can I contact should I encounter an emergency? Please contact Ryan Jones, Operations Manager at 647.317.6924 extension 2.
Am I able to ask questions and communicate with the proctor? You can chat with the proctor using the chat feature. Read all questions in their entirety and select the answer that is most correct to you based on the question exactly how it is written. If you have any questions/concerns, you may flag it with the proctor. The Professional Education and Examination Committee will review all questions/comments after the Examination and appropriate steps will be taken if necessary.
Do I need to show a scan of the room? The proctor may ask for a scan of the room at any time, typically if it looks like the Candidate is cheating or someone else talking in the background. A quiet room is needed to complete the Professional Examination. No other person should be in the room in which you are completing the Professional Examination. Please note you should not mouth words or read the questions out loud.
Rules for Conduct
- No other person should be in the room in which you are completing the Professional Examination.
- Candidates should proceed to the Examination link that will be sent to them in the Day of Guide.
- Candidates shall have their photo identification (signed Photo ID) ready to show during the verification stage of the Professional Examination. Photo identification may include any one of the following, as long as it contains a photo and a signature: An up-to-date Passport (any country) OR current Driver’s License (any country) OR current Canadian health card (any province or territory).
- There should be no notes, books, pencil cases or cellphones present during the Professional Examination.
- Unauthorized materials include, but are not limited to: books, notes, or aid sheets. Unauthorized electronic devices include, but are not limited to: cellular telephones, calculators, MP3 players (such as an iPod), Personal Digital Assistants (“PDA” such as a Palm Pilot or Blackberry), pagers, electronic dictionaries, Compact Disc Players, Mini Disc Players, Smart Watches and Smart Glasses.
- Candidates who fall ill or feel that they cannot continue the Examination should report this [email protected]. The PSB Office will complete an incident report, which will be placed in the Candidate’s file. The Candidate must immediately consult a recognized medical authority and obtain a medical note. The Candidate must submit the medical note, the next day or as soon as possible, to the Professional Standards Board at [email protected].
- During the Examination, if there are any emergencies, including health issues that require an ambulance, or security-related issues, 911 should be called first. If a fire alarm sounds, evacuate immediately. Please contact the office at [email protected] to discuss and confirm resuming the Examination.
- If you are late for the Examination, we WILL NOT DELAY THE START OT THE EXAMINATION to help you set up.
Candidates will not receive specific feedback on their Examination. Candidates will be informed which sections of the Examination they passed or failed.
Annual Pass Rates
Candidates require a grade of 80% to pass the Examination.
|Year||Percentage of Candidate Who Passed the Examination|
|Long Answer Format|
You may appeal on procedural or compassionate grounds only. Procedural or compassionate grounds would include inadequate notice, failure to accommodate a Candidate’s special needs, or unforeseen family or personal emergency reported to the PSB within five (5) business days of the Professional Examination date. This does not include technical difficulties independent of the Examination space, such as personal laptop issues or with poor internet connection.
Special Needs and Accommodations
At the time you register for the Examination, please advise the office of your requirements, and we will attempt to accommodate you. Please note that if you require the Examination in a special format (Braille, audio, etc.), we will need at least four (4) weeks’ notice. If you require an assistive device, please arrange to bring your own, as PSB does not own any of these devices. If your assistive device requires power, kindly let us know at least a week in advance so we can ensure power is available for you. If you will be bringing a service animal or support person, please let us know at least four (4) weeks in advance so we can determine whether we need to arrange a separate room for you.
As soon as you know that you will miss the Examination date, please contact the Operations Manager at [email protected] or by phone at 647.317.6924. If you advise us by 3:30 PM ET two business days prior to the Examination date, there will be no adverse consequences. We can either refund your fee (please allow up to 30 days) or retain it and register you for the next sitting. If you miss this deadline, you will be considered to have chosen not to write the Examination and to have used one of your attempts; your fee will not be refunded. Please note that, if you had a health or business/personal/family emergency after the cancellation deadline, you must contact the PSB office within five (5) business days of the Examination date to be eligible to file an appeal on compassionate grounds. An appeal panel will review your case to determine whether your attempt will be voided and if you are eligible for a refund or credit towards your next sitting. In the event of an appeal, you will be asked to provide proof (such as a doctor’s note, letter from your employer, etc.) of the emergency.